Amtrak is America’s national rail system, operating more than 300 trains each day to 500+ destinations across the country. Amtrak’s extensive Midwest presence makes traveling to its Union Station hub in Chicago’s West Loop convenient and easy. And travelers love that they can reach their destination without the hassle of traffic, with plenty of legroom, and free onboard Wi-Fi to comfortably get work done as they ride.

Day trips

Amtrak offers several easy day trips to Chicago from all around the Midwest . The Hiawatha provides service seven times a day between Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Chicago, making the trip in just 89 minutes. Travel to Chicago via Michigan Services aboard the Wolverine Service from Detroit, the Pere Marquette from Grand Rapids, or the Blue Water from Port Huron. 

The Illinois Service offers multiple departures daily between Chicago and Quincy (aboard the Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg), St. Louis (via the Lincoln Service), and both Carbondale and Champaign-Urbana (on the Saluki and Illini Service, which are especially popular with students from Southern Illinois University and the University of Illinois).

Scenic journeys

Amtrak offers several scenic journeys en route to Chicago. The California Zephyr, which runs daily between San Francisco and Chicago, is considered to be one of the most beautiful train trips in all of North America. On the California Zephyr, riders are whisked through the heart of the breathtaking Rockies, the windswept plains of Nebraska, and the snow-capped Sierras.

The Empire Builder stops in big cities and quaint mountain towns between Portland/Seattle and Chicago, following major portions of the historic Lewis and Clark Trail. The Empire Builder travels over North Dakota’s landmark Gassman Coulee Trestle, through alpine valleys, and past 7,000-year-old glaciers nestled in Montana’s Glacier National Park.

Take in the grandeur of the American West on the Southwest Chief, which travels daily between Los Angeles and Chicago, riding past New Mexico missions, along curving canyon passages (some only a few feet wider than the train itself), and through spectacular Arizona desert landscapes.

Amtrak savings

Amtrak offers lots of ways to save on a trip to Chicago, whether you’re a business or leisure traveler. Book early — at least 7 – 14 days in advance for many routes across the country — and save 20% with Saver Fares. Groups of six can get up to 45% off tickets with Share Fares. And students save 15% on travel to Chicago on select trains in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin.

Book your Amtrak trip to Chicago today!